Album Review: Flume & Chet Faker – Lockjaw EP

Figuring out division of labor on a collaborative release can be difficult, both for the artists when making it and for listeners trying to identify each contributor’s aural fingerprints. The duo of rising Australians beatmaker Flume and alt-crooner Chet Faker would theoretically make this split easy, the former providing the electronics while the latter provides the vocals. This was the case on their previous collaboration “Left Alone” from Flume’s self-titled debut, but here they get equal billing, and they’ve decided to create, as Flume puts it, “kinda like a hybrid of both sounds going to one.”

Flume is the one better known for production skills, but Faker is certainly no slouch in that department, as proven by the carefully created loungey songs of his EP, Thinking In Textures, and both styles can be heard here. Opener “Drop The Game” works off of a similar sonic palette to that used on Flume, but less busy; the relaxed pace gives requisite space for Faker to lay on his slick vocals. The echoing vocals that fill the background speak to Flume’s ability to manipulate samples, and the increasingly pervasive synth almost certainly come from his fingertips.

“What About Us” is more Faker’s usual style, replete with unwinding pianos and even a sax solo, but the low-frequency bass throb and deceptively intricate electronic layers make it more complex than anything he’d produce solo. “This Song Is Not About A Girl” is the EP’s weak link, as it strays far outside both of their usual comfort zones, winding up as an almost Phoenix-like indie pop number with a hackneyed emotional climax.

The suggestion of a full album from this partnership would certainly be a welcome one. They have found a muse in each other, and as long as they stick to intertwining their sounds rather than trying to do something completely unfamiliar, there is seemingly plenty to be reaped from it.

Essential Tracks: “Drop The Game”, “What About Us”


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